Arsenal face Man City transfer fight for £160m double deal but Edu has the edge after summer win

Edu has the challenge of signing players this summer which will help Arsenal beat Manchester City
-Credit: (Image: David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal have entered the elite level of sport after establishing themselves in both the UEFA Champions League and as Premier League title challengers. They have significantly closed the gap to their main rivals, something which rival players are now aware of as Manchester City's Kyle Walker explained.

“The manager [Pep Guardiola] said after the interview on Sky the other day when he said we’ve got the message and we hear it loud and clear,” Walker said. “I think for him to say that, he knows Arsenal are right on our heels now so either we need to up our game a little bit more or Arsenal need to fall off a little bit.

“The gap is getting closer each year, it’s getting closer. We need to probably extend that gap to give ourselves a little bit of breathing space.”

Not just on the field the gap has closed but off it too and Arsenal know that they will be battling with Manchester City for targets this summer. There are already two names which are being linked with both clubs and Arsenal may need to go toe-to-toe with City sooner than they thought after the season had just come to a close.

Bruno Guimaraes of Newcastle United has a release clause of £100million and therefore if either or both clubs met the price, the Brazilian would face a choice. City guarantee the trophies but Arsenal perhaps have the longevity with Arteta expected to stay long into the future with Pep Guardiola’s situation far less certain.

The other player is Wolves’ Pedro Neto, valued at £60million. The Portuguese winger has had his injury issues but both City and Arsenal see the 24-year-old as a fantastic option to bring competition to Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka respectively.

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However, Arsenal sporting director Edu Gaspar knows he has an edge over City based on the success of the previous summer. With Arsenal and Man City both bidding for West Ham’s Declan Rice, it was the Gunners who blew their title rivals out of the water with a £105million bid.

City were unwilling to match the offer made by the Gunners and the acquisition of Rice was seen as one of the best pieces of business in the sport that year and the results vindicated such claims. However, the difference between Guimaraes and Neto appears to be that if City were to match Arsenal, it would come down to the player.

It will be intriguing to see should the sides go head-to-head in the market, who comes out on top. The context of both sides' short- and long-term goals makes for interesting reading and gives players plenty to consider before choosing to move.